Charlie Kaufman Is Looking to Adapt the Japanese Novel THE MEMORY POLICE

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Earlier this week, Netflix shared the trailer for Charlie Kaufman’s new film, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, and it looks like a wonderfully crazy movie. It tells the kind of story that we expect to see from the mind of Kaufman. Here’s the synopsis for that:

Despite second thoughts about their relationship, a young woman (Jessie Buckley) takes a road trip with her new boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to his family farm. Trapped at the farm during a snowstorm with Jake’s mother (Toni Collette) and father (David Thewlis), the young woman begins to question the nature of everything she knew or understood about her boyfriend, herself, and the world. 

He also recently debuted his novel Antkind, which as you might imagine tells a story that Kaufman fans will enjoy. If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s a description of it:

B. Rosenberger Rosenberg, neurotic and underappreciated film critic (failed academic, filmmaker, paramour, shoe salesman who sleeps in a sock drawer), stumbles upon a hitherto unseen film made by an enigmatic outsider—a film he’s convinced will change his career trajectory and rock the world of cinema to its core. His hands on what is possibly the greatest movie ever made—a three-month-long stop-motion masterpiece that took its reclusive auteur ninety years to complete—B. knows that it is his mission to show it to the rest of humanity. The only problem: The film is destroyed, leaving him the sole witness to its inadvertently ephemeral genius.

All that’s left of this work of art is a single frame from which B. must somehow attempt to recall the film that just might be the last great hope of civilization. Thus begins a mind-boggling journey through the hilarious nightmarescape of a psyche as lushly Kafkaesque as it is atrophied by the relentless spew of Twitter. Desperate to impose order on an increasingly nonsensical existence, trapped in a self-imposed prison of aspirational victimhood and degeneratively inclusive language, B. scrambles to re-create the lost masterwork while attempting to keep pace with an ever-fracturing culture of “likes” and arbitrary denunciations that are simultaneously his bête noire and his raison d’être.

A searing indictment of the modern world, Antkind is a richly layered meditation on art, time, memory, identity, comedy, and the very nature of existence itself—the grain of truth at the heart of every joke.

Kaufman is now looking for his next film project, and while speaking on the Chicago Humanities Festival in promotion of Antkind, the filmmaker revealed he’s been approached to adapt Yōko Ogawa’s Japanese The Memory Police, which is described as “a haunting Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance.”

He hasn’t officially signed on to direct the film. As of right now, he’s just reading through the novel, but it does sound like something that matches up with his storytelling and filmmaking style. It puts a focus on “paranoia, ways we cling to memories, ways memories disappear, and the dissolution of time as a meaningful concept.” Here’s the synopsis of the novel:

On an unnamed island, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses. . . . Most of the inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few able to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten. When a young writer discovers that her editor is in danger, she concocts a plan to hide him beneath her floorboards, and together they cling to her writing as the last way of preserving the past. Powerful and provocative, The Memory Police is a stunning novel about the trauma of loss.

If you want, you can watch Kaufman’s conversation below. This is definitely a project that I can see Kaufman working on, though. Hopefully he decides to jump on board.

Via: The Film Stage



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